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The link between Cocaine Use and Anorexia

April 8, 2013 by  
Filed under Addiction, Cocaine, Eating Disorders

The link between Cocaine Use and Anorexia

The link between cocaine use and anorexia is becoming more and more apparent to researchers. The frequency of the co-occurring disorders, especially in young women, is influencing the way people look at the two issues. It is not uncommon for people with eating disorders to use some kind of substance whether it is cocaine or not to try and lose weight. While the media may or may not have something to do with this want to be thin it definitely provides a good excuse for it.

Cocaine is an incredibly potent and addictive narcotic central nervous stimulant that also works as an appetite suppressant. It gives its users an intense and powerful high. The high from cocaine use only lasts about 15 minutes to an hour so it can cause addiction very quickly by the need for repeated use. What are some of the signs of cocaine use?

  • bloodshot eyes
  • rapid weight loss
  • dilated pupils
  • nosebleeds
  • perspiration
  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • runny nose
  • susceptibility to illness
  • increased temperature.

Anorexia is the total and absolute fear of getting fat or gaining weight. Those who have anorexia will use everything they can and do everything they can to lose weight. What are some of the signs of anorexia?

  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Refusing food or not eating enough food for an ordinary person
  • Extreme fear of being fat
  • Nausea and throwing up (beginning to binge)
  • Feeling fat or overweight despite dramatic weight loss
  • Refusing to maintain a healthy body weight
  • Loss of menstrual periods

The two, cocaine use and anorexia sound pretty similar in their signs. That is why so many people use cocaine as way to fuel their anorexia. Cocaine produces the affects that someone with anorexia would want in order to lose a drastic amount of weight quickly and not feel hungry.

There is definitely a link between cocaine use and anorexia. Here are some statistics on it:

  • 50% of people with eating disorders also abuse alcohol or drugs compared with 9% of the general population
  • Roughly 35% of alcohol or drug abusers have an eating disorder compared to 3% of the general population
  • Girls between the ages of 10 and 14 who diet more than once per week are four times more likely to become addicted to cigarettes
  • Girls with eating disorders are nearly four times more likely to use cocaine
  • Up to one million males suffer from an eating disorder, which accounts for roughly 15% of the total population of sufferers.

Many of the people who use cocaine and have an eating disorder began using cocaine to control their weight. Diet pills, laxatives, caffeine, tobacco, amphetamines, alcohol and heroin are also all commonly used to suppress appetite, boost metabolism and to slow down negative thoughts, emotions and anxiety.

So how does someone go from anorexia to cocaine use or cocaine use to anorexia? Well, it has been found in studies that the majority of people who had an eating disorder such as anorexia as well as a substance abuse problem like cocaine use, the eating disorder came first.




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